PUNXSUTAWNEY– Punxsy baseball coach Mike Dickey said anyone who comes to watch the Chucks play this season needs to keep one thing in mind about his team.
Punxsy isn't a team where any opponent can feel safe with its lead.
After failing behind 8-0 in the second inning, the Chucks (8-7) scored 21 runs over the next five innings to earn a five-inning, 21-11 mercy rule decision over Hollidaysburg Monday.
"One thing you should learn from these guys is don't leave them," Dickey said. "We scored eight runs in the seventh inning to beat State College when we were trailing by seven. These guys, they're resilient and they don't quit. Unfortunately, we got ourselves in that position."
The turning point for Punxsy was the bottom of the second inning.
After having one runner on an error and another ground out, the Chucks had seven consecutive hits, culminating with Joe Pisano's three run home run.
"For me the turning point was definitely the second inning," Dickey said. "We went from being down 8-0 to being up 9-8 once the dust settled."
The sudden change in momentum also changed Dickey's strategy.
"We decided when we were down 8-0 that we were looking to find a pitcher to eat innings because we have four games this week," Dickey said. "But after we took the lead, our strategy changed."
Punxsy's starting pitcher Jamie Bush was pulled after 1 1/3 innings and allowing eight runs.
He was replaced by Tyler Skerkavich, who would pick up the win. Dickey said the Chucks needed a win to held their playoff seeding.
"Both St. Marys and Clearfield are hovering around eight or nine wins, so I knew that we needed this game," Dickey said. "Everyone is after that No. 1 seed."
Catcher Jordan Mesoraco led Punxsy with six RBIs, five of which came off of two doubles.
Brodi Lowmaster (two), Zak Dickey (two), Taylor Neal (two), Skerkavich, Luke Janocha and Ty Zimmerman also drove in runs.
"We really hit well today," Mike Dickey said. "We had a lot of clutch situational hitting and were able to cash in 21 runs. It was tremendous."
Every starter had at least one hit for the Chucks and the team finished with 14 hits.